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Car Accidents

You’ve been in car wreck in Georgia. You may even be looking at this on your phone at the scene. I’ve got a few thoughts to share with you.

  1. Turn off the engine and turn on your hazard flashers. If you’re near the crest of a hill, try to get somebody to go to the top of the hill to warn people off.
  2. Call 911. Don’t let anyone talk you out of that even if they offer you cash on the scene.
  3. Use your camera phone to make a few very quick pictures of the position of the vehicles.
  4. If nobody is killed or seriously injured, move the vehicles out of the traffic lanes to clear traffic after you have taken those pictures.
  5. Don’t try and be a paramedic they should be there quickly after you call 911. There are a couple of exceptions. One, if somebody has blood gushing from an open artery, apply pressure with the heel of your hand to slow the blood loss using an item of clothing or plastic bag to guard against direct blood to skin contact. And, if there is an immediate threat of fire or explosion and it’s absolutely necessary to drag somebody clear to keep them from being burned up, roll up a jacket or towel or something and wrap it around their neck to protect against movement of the neck and very gently drag them out. But, at all costs don’t move the neck. They could get paralyzed if you do.
  6. Exchange information with other drivers. Names, phone numbers, addresses, driver’s license number and insurance information. You might even just take pictures of the cards with your phone camera and exchange those. But, don’t exchange social security numbers they don’t need it and it could be used for identity theft.
  7. Stay calm. Arguing, shouting, name calling, and accusations just don’t help.
  8. When a law enforcement officer comes to the scene be polite, respectful, courteous, and calm. Give accurate and complete information in response to the officer’s request. Make notes of the officer’s name, badge number and phone number. Most of them will just write it down and give it to you without being asked, and ask when and where you can pick up the accident report.
  9. Don’t place blame or accept blame at the scene. Just stick to the facts. Calm reflection and analysis may differ from your immediate instinctive reflex.
  10. Write down the other vehicle’s tag number or take a picture of it. If a large truck is involved, also get everything written on the side of the truck. That’s very important.
  11. If you’re hurt at all, don’t be a stoic hero. Even if you subjectively feel that you are just shaken up, accept an ambulance ride if it’s offered. It’s very common for symptoms to increase the hours and days after an accident. Honestly describe to medical personal exactly what you are feeling in detail, they won’t know if you don’t tell them. But never exaggerate, just tell the truth. If you’re injured go to the emergency room and then follow up with your doctor,
  12. If you get a ticket, don’t argue with the officer, it doesn’t help. Just sign the ticket to acknowledge receipt and deal with it later.
  13. Stay at the scene until the police and other driver’s leave unless you are taken away by ambulance.
  14. If another driver was at fault and you have a significant injury, call us after you’ve seen a doctor. I hope we can help.

On May 22, 2018, former State Bar of Georgia president Ken Shigley will be a candidate for election to the Georgia Court of Appeals. The only other candidate is Ken Hodges, a former Dougherty County District Attorney. Ken Hodges was the Democratic Party nominee for Attorney General in 2010.

Client Reviews
"Goes above and beyond and is a mountain of knowledge on spine and brain injuries. He does his research and represents you with a level of excellence. Remains a friend after representing me." Dee M., Woodstock, GA
"I have collaborated with Mr. Shigley on several initiatives within Georgia’s Judiciary over the past few years and found him to be a persistent and attentive individual. Ken has taken great pride in his involvement with the projects that I have worked on and he is good at influencing success. Despite his hectic schedule, Ken has always made time to discuss, research and review ideas for the best way to accomplish goals. I look forward to a continued working relationship in this and future roles." Jorge B., CIO, Judicial Council of Georgia
"After having to have a hole drilled in an automobile part at a machine shop 10 years ago, I told my uncle I could have done that. My uncle replied, "You are doing this once these guys do it every day" That simply means if you don't know where to turn, get help and get an expert. Ken was that help when I was severely injured during a fatal accident. Ken and his team at Shigley Law are experts, and are here to help you during your crisis. Ken will be there during the injury, recovery, and trial. He and his firm will work hard to see that you are represented fairly!" Jeremy R.
"Ken is a very kind man. He has a wealth of knowledge and is going above and beyond to help us while representing our case." Candy F., spouse of catastrophic injury client, Plains, GA
"I know Ken as trial lawyer of highest standards. Ken is knowledgeable and innovative and that translates to success in the courtroom. He is outgoing, compassionate and personable which makes him a pleasure to work with in any setting." Eric B., Attorney, Canton, GA